They say that all good things must end; but then for Me and Jill, good things indeed must end but they should end in an exceptional way! It was our 3rd and last day in SANTORINI and our ferry going back to Athens was leaving at 3pm-4pm, so basically we only had a few hours to enjoy this diving Greek Island. Making the most of what we had, we again decided to wake up early despite the fact that we had a long but still exciting day in Oia a day before (link about our Oia travel adventures here) and complete our bucket list of places to see in FIRA or rather, our things to do in Fira list.
The Karavolades Stairs as explained in our Fira Day 2 blogpost (link here) was the only way available for locals and travelers alike to and from the town of Fira and the old port of Skala Firon, almost a thousand feet below. Nowadays though, since the main port of Santorini was shifted to the bigger Athinios port, the majority of travelers who make their entry point to Fira through the stairs are those who arrive in cruise ships. The Karavolades Stairs though hasn’t loss its rustic charm and is ever popular with travelers who either traverse its 580 steps by foot or by riding the ever trusted mules/donkeys for a reasonable donkey ride price of 5 Euros per way (not including the tip for the donkey owners who lead the donkeys up and down the stairs). Given the chance, Jill and I would’ve loved to walk our way to these famous stairs. However, time wasn’t a luxury we had – good thing there was the Fira Cable Car!
Fira Cable Car
For those wanting to explore the Skala Firon Port of Fira but don’t have the time or the energy to scale the Karavolades Stairs there is the Fira Cable Car! Good thing the cable car station is conveniently located almost beside the point where the Karavolades stairs start from Fira.
If I’m not mistaken, the cable car was built in the 1980s under the funding of the lovely couple below. We arrived there at around 10am, making sure that we avoid the numerous hordes of tourists who line up to travel by cable car (those from Fira and those from the cruise ships).
The Fira Cable Car price per way was also 5 EUR, the same as the fare for a donkey ride per way. And the ride itself takes only around 2 to 4 minutes which is way faster as compared to taking the Karavolades stairs (though this is relative to the number of tourists/passengers present).
And the I must say was exhilarating! A straight down, unobstructed view of the Fira cliffs, the Santorini Caldera and the Paleo Kameni & Nea Kameni Volcanoes!
And my wife Jill enjoyed it a lot!
While I tried my best to smile at the camera while trembling as I’m not the type of guy who’s really fond of heights LOL!
Look, Jill’s really having a great time seeing the view and seeing me holding on tight while we went down the cliffs!
After a couple of minutes we were at the Skala Firon Port! I’m the happiest guy in the world at that exact moment in time!
Skala Firon Port Fira
There are limited things to do in Skala Firon though, but the experience itself and the view makes very much worth visiting! From here, you literally get a different perspective of Fira, now a thousand feet above you!
There are a number of tavernas or traditional Greek restaurants along the port that make a great place to relax and snack or dine – something we’ll definitely try when we go back to Santorini!
Most people who go to the Skala Firon port though go there since it is the start and end point of boat trips around the caldera and to the Nea and Paleo Kameni from Fira!
Nevertheless, the Skala Firon port completes your visit of Fira in a way that you can see how local fishermen still does the same things for generations, with fishing boats still moored in the small harbor with a backdrop of a traditional Cycladic Orthodox Church.
Having stayed at the Skala Firon port for around 45 minutes, Jill and I decided to go back up to see more of the places we haven’t explored in Fira. Luckily again, we sped up way ahead of the group of tourists who just disembarked in the port and we got back to Fira in no time!
More Fira Churches and Charming Alleyways
Back in Fira, we started walking towards the eastern part of town – a part of Fira we haven’t seen and is less explored since most of the sites in Fira were located in the middle and western side of town. While walking along the spectacular Agiou Mina street, we saw this cute little girl playing the accordion! We couldn’t help but be enchanted with her music and her smile!
Walking further eastward, right in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fira, was a staircase going down to a very rustic looking church which were curious about when we saw it while dining in V Lounge and waiting for the Fira sunset two days ago!
We don’t know what the name of this church was, but for me, it is my most favorite church in all the churches of Santorini. Most probably because it was unique in a way that it looks really old and less manicured and is not blue domed. It was to say the least, charming in its own right!
In front of this church was a nice balcony-like street that offered a breathtaking panoramic view of the western side of Fira, to the town of Imerovigli and streching as far as Oia!
And when you look up, you see the dome of this rustic church contrast with the gleaming white dome of the Metropolitan Cathedral – I’m really glad we explored this part of Fira!
Walking east along this balcony-like street, we came across more of the Cycladic Santorni doors we adored so much!
And then lo and behold, we found this perfect spot (pictured below) which is for me the most picturesque place in Fira with nothing more in sight but a white church and the perfect blues of the sky and the sea. Most importantly, this place was really peaceful and quiet since there were fewer tourists who ventured in this part of Fira! A perfect spot to just let the world pass by and think about basically nothing! Beautiful, it was sublimely beautiful!
A closer view of the church dome and the cracked bell tower contrasting with the cottony clouds and the blue Greek sky!
Almost at the edge of town, we were fortunate enough to have encountered this charming street (seriously, we had it on our own), with the white paint still fresh and only broken by the signature Santorini blue doors and accents.
Lastly, we passed by another church which just popped out of the narrow alleyways we were exploring. Aside from a group of 5/6 tourists, again we had the place on our own!
Seeing that it was almost noon, and since we were almost at the edge of Fira, Jill and I decided that it was time to go back and grab lunch (Where to Eat and Places to Eat in Santorini to be blogged soon) in a simple taverna (which we had to find also) that ranked No.1 in the Places to Eat in Fira category of Tripadvisor.
We were so happy to have seen this part of Fira which to be honest is a great break from the crowded streets of the town centre and was a perfect end to a perfect vacation in this perfect Greek Island.
Would we go back to Santorini? Definitely. And given the chance, we would go back more than once! Santorni is simply one of those places that you call heaven on earth!
More of our Santorini Vacation blog series on the links below:
*I would love to stay connected with you guys! Follow us on:
or at Twitter: ArenceJeanTravel